Heat Pump Terms That Can Help You Compare Efficiency Potential

Heat Pump Terms That Can Help You Compare Efficiency PotentialWhen choosing a heat pump system for your Terre Haute-area home, you want to pick one that will save you money and be environmentally friendly. To do so, you need to look at and compare each heat pump’s energy efficiency as both a heating and a cooling unit. There are four heat pump terms that can help you do exactly that: COP, HSPF, SEER and EER.

  • COP, or coefficient of performance, compares how much heat energy is provided to how much electric energy is used. Because heat pumps merely transfer heat, rather than producing it, they can provide more energy than they consume. A COP over 3.0 is not uncommon, meaning that three times more energy is provided than what is consumed. COP is most often used to measure the efficiency of geothermal heat pump systems.
  • HSPF, or heating seasonal performance factor, is more commonly used when referring to air-source heat pumps. The big difference between COP and HSPF is that HSPF uses different units of energy: the heat energy is measured in British thermal units (BTUs), while the electrical energy is measured in watt-hours. Because one watt-hour represents about 3.4 times as much energy as a BTU, HSPF numbers are about 3.4 times bigger than the equivalent COP number.
  • SEER, or seasonal energy efficiency ratio, is one of the two heat pump terms used when measuring cooling efficiency. SEER is basically the air conditioning equivalent of HSPF, measuring BTUs of cooling output rather than BTUs of heat.
  • EER, or energy efficiency ratio, could be described as the SEER rating for a specific set of weather conditions: 95 degrees Fahrenheit with a 50 percent relative humidity. Since SEER is a seasonal average that also includes lower outdoor temperatures, the EER number is going to be lower than the SEER number on the same system. Usually, EER ratings are about 12.5 percent lower than the equivalent SEER rating.

At Paitson Bros. Heating & Air Conditioning, our three generations of experience make us the Wabash Valley experts on heat pumps. Contact us to learn more about these or any other heat pump terms.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about heat pump terms and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Paitson Bros. Heating and Air Conditioning services Terre Haute, Indiana. Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!     

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